What happens when you go to McDonalds? Do you notice how that magical golden arch stays the same from every aspect? Once reason why you and millions of others can recognize that logo is that they have a strong sense of uniformity of their logo.
When you have a brand it consists of texts, an icon and /or both. Think of Nike, they can either use the Swoosh, the name “Nike” or a combination of the Swoosh and the name. What they have done is made it recognizable. Anywhere you look they will have the same exact lettering and same exact logo, there will be no variations to it. Why? First of all they went through all the trademarks, but also keeping a logo and brand consistent requires a lot of work.
In order to make a brand truly a brand that can be recognized, you have to have several factors in your branding uniformity. Additionally, your brand really has to match your vision, mission and the why of your company. If it doesn’t then you’re in a bit of a hurt in the future. Here is what you do:
Psychology Factors & The rule of Three
When it comes to branding you have to compete with millions of people in your industry to make an impact on your target market & demographics. For every change that you make to your brand’s logo, design or color you have to work three times harder for someone to actually remember you. The days where you could come up with a single black and white logo in every color scheme are pretty much out the door. The human mind has an odd capability to remember things in three. Think about it a couple examples:
- The three stooges; Larry, Mo & Curly,
- phone numbers: (323) 444 – (what were those last 4?)
- American flag; red, white and blue.
The human mind allows for sets and if you violate the sets you simply lose focus. Therefore try to limit the number of elements of colors, fonts and styles for your brand.
- Color: You want to pick a color and stick to it. Whatever the colors are make sure that you don’t have more than three.
- Fonts: Don’t pick a ton of different pretty fonts. Stick to no more than three font styles. If you change even a single thing on a font consider it a different font. For example: The size from 12 to 10, italics or bold.
- Icon: Stick to the correct proportions of width and height. Yes, the proportions do make a huge impact. You also want to make sure you don’t copy someone else’s icon, even if you are getting a trademark on it. Make sure that it doesn’t look too close to anyone else in any market. Why? Do you really want to be known or possibly remembered for something that you are not?
I’m not saying that you can’t change the dimensions to fix a business card. What I am saying is that you want to make sure all of the proportions are the same. Finally, You don’t have a Nike or McDonalds budget to really pay for the impacts. Even McDonalds keeps their logo color, icon and font the same. Therefore, keep your logo the same color, shape and size. Unless you have a McDonald or Nike budget, in which case you would just hire a branding professional.
The Consistency Factor
Once you have fully concluded on your brand’s icon, font & colors, you will need to make sure that it is fully consistent in all of your marketing efforts. The best way to do this is to have a branding kit created. The branding kit typically has the following:
- Business cards: Yes a professional logo designer will have all of the business cards made so that they match your brand.
- Font types: This isn’t the font type of your logo. The font type I’m talking about is the font you will be using for your website to typing a letter or eMail. You want to make sure that the branding kit tells you which fonts are available. You want to have no more than two, the first one is primary just in case that there is no primary you have a secondary that is an extremely close match. Don’t go off and pick two fonts that don’t look the same.
- Color Schemes: These are your company’s colors going forward. Why? This is how people will remember and know you. So, make sure that the colors match the logo throughout the business. If you have walk-in visitors then make sure your office is accented with these colors. Don’t pain all the walls and floors the same color, someone will get vertigo, but accent them throughout and it will feel uniform with your brand. Additionally, your website needs to match these colors. Remember accent, not plaster.
- eMail: Make sure you have the same formatting all the time for everyone in the company. You are trying to make an image & impact on people receiving it.
Other things you need to look at
- Tradeshow booths, et. al: Make sure you have something that matches your business’s brand. Don’t go off and go against the color schemes because you decided one day to be an “artist”.
Remember that your consistency is what will determine how your brand appears to the public. It takes 7 to 15 times for anyone to even recall your brand, so if you don’t have it consistent you just have to promote yourself 7 to 15 times more to the same people for them to remember all the different variations of your brand.